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Does not voting for Mexican Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity for Best Picture make you a Mexican-hater?

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  • GermanGuidanceSystem
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    #138370

    Does not voting for Mexican Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity for Oscar Best Picture and Alfonso Cuaron for Best Director make you
    a Mexican-hating racist? (A satirical counter-blast to the blatantly manipulative
    campaigning for 12 Years A Slave on
    AwardsDaily). Just to repeat: this piece is intended to be satirical.

    THE STATE OF THE RACE (No pun intended), THE STATE OF THE
    LOGIC, and the sure fact that that STATE IS NOT NEW MEXICO (down at 48 on the list of U.S. states as ranked by poverty rate).


    “I don’t paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality.” 
     Frida Kahlo


    “They don’t make pussy cats like they used to.”
    -Speedy Gonzales

    In 86 years no Mexican Director has won the AMPAS Best
    Picture or Best Director Oscar. In 86 years – that’s spanning 2 centuries,
    folks- AMPAS, in its infinite Taco-hating prejudice- has previously nominated
    only 1 Mexican director, Alejandro González Iñárritu,
    for Best Director and only 1 film by a Mexican director for Best Film, the
    above named Alejandro González Iñárritu’s
    Babel. That film was based in Japan,
    Morocco, and the United States and Mexico. We can be under no doubt that if the
    film had only been set in Mexico, Babel
    would have failed to even make the cut. By the way, have I mentioned recently
    that IN 86 YEARS NO MEXICAN DIRECTOR HAS WON THE AMPAS BEST PICTURE OR BEST
    DIRECTOR OSCAR.

    Babel was sidelined at the 2006 Oscar ceremony – the very
    same year that African American, Barack Obama, won the American Presidency. A
    coincidence? You decide. When the story of 2013 is told and retold, Sandra
    Bullock, George Clooney and that Asian-American Astronaut who had his head
    decimated by space debris early on in the film will have been on the right side
    of history. The Academy will not have been. Unlike that short-lived Asian-American
    Astronaut, the Academy will not have had its mind blown.

    With the regularity of Hugo Sanchez scoring an overhead kick
    goal at soccer, America, the land of unrequited historical shame, has been
    denying Mexicans the Best Picture Oscar and the box seat at the Oval Office. Denied
    the 2 biggest awards (in that order) in America.  Will America overcome its racist attitudes to
    Mexicans by this March awarding that visionary director, Alfonso Cuaron, the
    Oscar for Best Director? We await to see if Gravity,
    the underdog, can overcome the racism and overcome the challenge set by its
    main rival, 12 Years A Slave, a film
    directed by a man who is NOT Mexican.

    Solomon Northup was only a slave for 12 years. Mexican
    directors have been in chains and denied the freedom to win a Best Director or
    Best Picture Oscar for 86 YEARS! Alfonso Cuaron is thus 7.16666666667 times
    more overdue, more oppressed, more deserving of the Oscar. You can’t argue with the math. If
    you do, you suffer from dyscalculia AND racism

    As we barely remember, the Mexican director, Alejandro González Iñárritu,
    was nominated for the film Babel in
    2006. The only, sole, one-of-a-kind, Mexican winner of the Best Cinamatography
    Oscar has been Guillermo Navarro for Pan’s Labyrinth.

    Babel and Pan. 2 words that each hold strong connotations of
    universality and multiplicity. 2 words which reach up to the global sky, like
    the eponymous, Biblical tower and speak of global communities rather than
    concentrate on one experience, one country, one sidelined, stereotyped sombrero-wearing,
    siesta-taking people.

    The subjugation of the Mexican people, their typecasting as
    lazy, criminal, sleazy bad guys continues unabashed. As it always has done. The
    33th Academy Awards ceremony heralded a harvest of 7 Oscar nominations for John
    Wayne’s directorial debut, The Alamo.
    A film that sports a score of 50% on Rotten Tomatoes and 47% on metacritic. A film that Tom Milne from Time Out (a
    magazine that originated in London) describes as: 

    An elephantine, historically inaccurate, stridently patriotic tribute to
    the handful of Texans who faced assault by 7,000 Mexican baddies.

    That
    icon of big, white, male, ethnic minority-shooting America, John Wayne, also went
    on to direct the equally discriminatory war film, The Green Berets. A film that reflected the physical and political
    realities of the war in Vietnam about as accurately and broadly as the Ku Klux
    Klan represent the uses of white bed sheets.    

    ‘Remember The Alamo’ we are indoctrinated to say. But not
    from the Mexican perspective. No. We are taught to remember it for “our boys”,
    for Davy Crockett, Bowie and Travis, for American cultural heroes fighting a
    heroic last-ditch battle against overwhelming forces, for ‘God and Texas’. The
    Mexican perspective of that 13 day siege in 1836 is an unheard voice confined
    to Mexico, a million miles or more away from Hollywood movie financing.

    The Killing Fields

    heralded a long-overdue fresh perspective on the genocide in Cambodia. Dances With Wolves and The Unforgiven brought a fresh
    perspective to the revisionist portrayal of the Cowboys (Good Guys) vs American
    Indians (Bad Guys) westerns that populated early Hollywood film fare. The Academy honoured virtual
    unknown Cambodian-American Haing S. Ngor with the best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in The Killing Fields. Dances With Wolves and The Unforgiven both waltzed off with the
    Oscar Best Picture prize, and Best Director for –respectively- the white men,
    Kevin Costner and Clint Eastwood, amongst a slew of other Oscars and awards.
    The battles and conflict between Mexico and the U.S. – when in film history has
    there been a star-powered big budget Hollywood film to set the record straight
    on the Mexican experience at the hands of white America?

    It’s a sorry indictment that perhaps the nearest to a post-modern US vs Mexico western is Sam Peckinpah’s 1969 offering, The Wild Bunch. The iconic ending centres on a group of ageing,
    white, male Americans (including future Academy member and well-known
    libertarian, Ernest Borgnine) taking turns on a huge water-cooled Browning machine
    gun, to mow down waves of Mexican soldiers. There’s a metaphor there,
    somewhere. The portrayal of women in the film is also just as you would expect. 

    Babel, Pan and then onto Gravity. The metaphor of universality reaches the literal
    culmination with the setting of Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity. It breaks the ground -but not the Stone- breaches the sky
    and embodies and enriches the metaphor, before re-entering the full force of Earth’s
    gravity and plummeting towards an uplifting conclusion. Gravity is one of the 4
    distinct fundamental forces and yet has an electromagnetism all of its own.   

    Gravity has to be
    about a universal experience writ large by a skywriter. A film requiring a
    large budget by a Mexican Director primarily about Mexico could not make it
    past a pitch to the Hollywood financers. The star power of beloved white
    Americans, Bullock and Clooney, are required to realise the dream and realise
    that galaxy.

    The very nature, subject and content of Gravity proves the power and depth of Hollywood resistance to the
    Mexican experience. To include Mexico, the Hollywood film has to extend to being
    about EVERYTHING. Or instead revert to the time-honoured default of being about a few American heroes taking on hordes of wicked Mexicans.

    Films such as Norman Jewison’s In The Heat Of The Night, films such as the Spielberg helmed Armistad and The Colour Purple, films such as Fruitvale Station, The Butler
    and 12 Years A Slave  – these films demonstrate that scripts for African Americans’ experience of America attract finance, are allowed to make the protracted leap
    to the screen, get to see the light of day, get to be realised, exist. 

    There are no such Hollywood opportunities for the Mexican person to secure. As Doroteo Arango Arambula once put it, ‘I have the duty to inform you that Pancho Villa is everywhere and nowhere at the same time’. Everywhere yet nowhere.

    A Mexican director is not only not white – he is not
    black. He has the double disadvantage hanging around his neck of being Mexican.
    An unforgiveable fact, as far as those at the Academy are concerned. America doesn’t
    care about Mexico / the starting point of departure for illegal immigrants
    taking American jobs (as it perceives it); America doesn’t care about the
    Mexican experience and doesn’t care that it doesn’t care.

    If America doesn’t want Mexicans taking American jobs, it
    sure as Hell doesn’t want Mexicans taking American Oscars.

    The winds of change, the howls of outrage, the historical echoes
    of subjugation and oppression screaming for correction and compensation are but
    mere dreams, illusions and delusions. The reality is silence and the future
    will be silent. AMPAS will speak its white-faced mind and Gravity will make do with a string of technical awards and be
    treated, diminished and patronised like a cute high-tech toy that belongs in
    the crèche, far away from the cultural installations at the museum.  

    The Academy faces two choices. Like the late Nelson Mandela,
    they can choose to fight for the oppressed and marginalised, by rewarding
    Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity; or, like Dr. Ryan Stone in Gravity, they can fall
    back into desperately returning to an old familiar place, by rewarding the North
    American based 12 Years A Slave.

    If Martin Luther King were alive today he would feel binding
    solidarity with his ever-marginalised Mexican brothers and with his overlooked
    sisters. Martin Luther King would be pulled to Gravity, a movie set in (the epic loneliness of) space, directed by a Mexican man and
    starring a woman: the ultimate in losing Oscar combinations struggling for recognition against
    the most brutal, entrenched triumvirate of historical Academy prejudices. Martin Luther
    King would call for change. The time for justice to be brought to bear is long overdue.
    The time for multiple landmarks to imprint themselves on our society is now. The time for dreams to become reality is now. That time is now. But it won’t happen, and probably wont happen in my lifetime. The heavy favourite 12 Years A Slave will march on to its inevitable win. Gravity will lose, be crushed, be dismissed, like a victim of violence, like Anastacio Hernandez Rojas.

    Gravity places a middle-aged female actress front and centre of its story. It quickly becomes a one-woman
    show, a one-woman fight for survival. We don’t mind a smoking-hot Angelina
    Jolie in a Lara Croft movie, costumed
    like a dominatrix, possessing a smoking-hot crystal-cut English accent while
    kicking the ass of big hulking guys. Yeah, that’s acceptable. But, as a rule, big
    budget films shouldn’t focus on a female experience. That’s caving in to
    feminism, isn’t it? Our main protagonist shouldn’t be female; it just isn’t right
    – cry the men who make up the vast majority of the membership at the Academy. It’s not that we find feminism distasteful, they grumble. It’s just that we can’t identify with a woman, especially an educated female Doctor, they mutter to themselves. We don’t have the
    imagination to enable that. We’re involved in acting, writing and film work –
    what could we know about imagination and empathy (?) they counter. How much
    easier to identify with a film like 12
    Years A Slave
    , they say as they chatter amongst themselves. The main
    character in that film…well, he may be black, but at least he’s a man.     

    Alfonso Cuaron had to produce the marvel of the year AND be
    known as one of the nicest men in Hollywood to nab the DGA. Come late evening of
    March 2nd at the Dolby Theatre, we will see if AMPAS can bring
    itself to do the right thing and vote for the underdog Cuaron and Gravity or vote for the crowd-pleasing 12 Years A Slave, with its scenes of visceral,
    extreme violence, which served to help Silence
    Of The Lambs
    , Schindler’s List, Braveheart, Gladiator and No Country For
    Old Men
    claim the win for Oscar’s Best Picture from the Academy’s
    predominantly male membership. But it won’t. The AMPAS deaf and deafening
    historical wall of resistance will reveal itself to be as mighty and oppressive
    as ever, infinitely more heavily patrolled and unconquerable than the other, better known U.S.-Mexico Border  It will continue building on its litany of hate crimes. Cuaron will not win
    Best Director and Gravity will not
    win Best Picture. Mexican people and Mexican stories will remain under a sombrero and lost in the shade, remain buried and
    forgotten, in infinite siesta. And no-one in the mainstream will champion them.

    There’s trendier causes to be at.      

                

    Reply
    delerian
    Member
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    Feb 21st, 2013
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    #138372

    (A satirical counter-blast to the blatantly manipulative
    campaigning for 12 Years A Slave on
    AwardsDaily). Just to repeat: this piece is intended to be satirical.

    You are going to want to put that in bold. And then maybe underline it. And make it red. Seriously.

    ReplyCopy URL
    CanadianFan
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    #138373

    Yeah, I hate the “making history” argument. Just vote for the best film, please.

    So, I would rank Her #1 and The Wolf of Wall Street #2. The director category is much tougher, because my heart is with Scorsese, but if he can’t win, might as well vote for Cuaron, yes? After all, it’s the directorial achievement of the year — nothing to do with his race. 

    The people on AD are crazy (including Sasha Stone). I’ve heard the argument that Cuaron shouldn’t win because, although it would also be historic, he didn’t make a film about the Mexican “experience”. So, should we discount Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker because she didn’t make a film about gender?

    From AD:

    There are many ways to interpret the upcoming choice for Best Picture the Academy will be making. On the one hand, the future could be defined as the sound of many doors unlocking and opening in unison as they realize it’s finally time to reward the first black director in 86 years of Oscar history, along with the film for Best Picture. That redefines our future as much as it provides a catharsis for these long years of the Academy, and Hollywood, perpetuating the notion that only white actors belong in films or on the covers of magazines. The Academy itself has come a long way since 1939…

    …Oprah was just too powerful. She was too black, too female and too goddamned powerful. They took from her the one thing they could: a potential Oscar win.

    Ugh. Yes, Oprah was snubbed because she was too black. Maybe voters didn’t like The Butler because it was trite and mediocre?

    ReplyCopy URL
    benbraddock
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    #138374

    Another hateful , racist thread on gold derby..
    Can we always count on these terrible threads.??
    I wouldnt vote for Cuaron or Gravity whether he is
    Mexican or a Martian because i dont feel it is remotely
    close to being the best film or best director.

    Case closed..

    ReplyCopy URL
    GermanGuidanceSystem
    Participant
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    #138375

    [quote=”GermanGuidanceSystem”]

    (A satirical counter-blast to the blatantly manipulative
    campaigning for 12 Years A Slave on
    AwardsDaily). Just to repeat: this piece is intended to be satirical.

    You are going to want to put that in bold. And then maybe underline it. And make it red. Seriously.

    [/quote]

    I see what you mean!
    I thought the, ‘A coincidence? You decide’, bit in the 4th paragraph would have left no doubt, but apparently not…

    I guess not everyone is as regular a reader of AwardsDaily as I am.
    (And I suppose it’s just as well I only published an abridged version of the piece!)  

    ReplyCopy URL
    GermanGuidanceSystem
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    #138376

    [quote=”delirian”][quote=”GermanGuidanceSystem”]

    (A satirical counter-blast to the blatantly manipulative
    campaigning for 12 Years A Slave on
    AwardsDaily). Just to repeat: this piece is intended to be satirical.

    You are going to want to put that in bold. And then maybe underline it. And make it red. Seriously.

    [/quote]

    I see what you mean!
    I thought the, ‘A coincidence? You decide’, bit in the 4th paragraph would have left no doubt, but apparently not…

    I guess not everyone is as regular a reader of AwardsDaily as I am.
    (And I suppose it’s just as well I only published an abridged version of the piece!)  [/quote]

    Ah! I’ve spotted the edit function (which I now see you were hinting at).

    I think I’ll do as you have advised; plus I’ll tidy up the typos I can see, and publish the unabridged version. 

    ReplyCopy URL
    AviChristiaans
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    #138377

    Yes. If not voting for McQueen apparently makes a voter racist, than not voting for Cuaron would be the exact same thing.
    As if the multi-decade long Hispanic immigration issue (and the Hispanic history) of the USA isn’t as much of a sensitive and noteworthy issue as slavery was centuries ago. Coupled with the fact that a Hispanic has also never won a directing Oscar. Because this is the basis with which McQueen should apparently be given the Oscar. Instead of merit.

    12 Years a Slave deseves the Best Picture title (but surely isn’t the only film worthy of that honor), but McQueen is nowhere near the Best Director of the Year. To use benbraddock‘s words:  “I dont feel Mcqueen is remotely close to being the best director of the year”.
    His film is exceptional, but the work he did is overshadowed by the performances,technicalities and subject matter of the film. Critics (and their respective awards) agree, and the Directing Guild body agrees. The Golden Globes agreed. Lord, even the critics who hate on Gravity agree.
    And you can betcha AMPAS voters will prove that come Oscar night.

    The case for the first Hispanic Director (who DESERVES it) to win the Directing Oscar has already been made by the Directors Guild Awards, so this  whole “McQueen should win because he is black” is by gones. It’s nonsense.

    This thread is unnecessary.

    ReplyCopy URL
    Ghost
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    #138378

    This is exactly why I don’t go on Awards Daily and you perfectly parodied it. Bravo sir, bravo.

    ReplyCopy URL
    Gabriel
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    #138379

    The people on AD are crazy (including Sasha Stone). I’ve heard the argument that Cuaron shouldn’t win because, although it would also be historic, he didn’t make a film about the Mexican “experience”. So, should we discount Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker because she didn’t make a film about gender?

    I was disgusted when I read that. Honestly, I just don’t even know how this woman gets to make a living writing shit like this. It’s disturbing.

    ReplyCopy URL
    endaugust
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    #138380

    People are missing Sasha Stone’s point.

    Oscar’s choices throughout the years have ALWAYS been about politics, and not about what is the best.

    And she encourages voters to take the opportunity to use these politics as wisely and beneficially as possible.  In Sasha’s beliefs, voting for a black director who made a seminal film about slavery is more historic than for a (white) Mexican director who just made an outer space thriller.

    After all, 12YAS and Gravity are equally critically well-regarded this year.  And her message is probably directed toward the fence sitters, the ones who currently can’t choose between the two.  She is not going to change the mind of anyone who thinks Gravity is vastly superior.

    On a deeper level, she encourages voters (white voters in particular) to step outside of their comfort zone and take a deeper look at their traditional likes and dislikes, and that their preferences might have been conditioned by prejudices.

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    Tyler The Awesome Guy
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    #138381

    Does not voting for Steve McQueen mean you hate blacks? Of course it’s not. It’s all about preference, about what kind of film you liked and which ones you didn’t. I wasn’t the hugest fan of Gravity, and that’s not because Cuaron is Mexican.

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    Gabriel
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    #138382

    I don’t think anyone’s missing the point at all. What she said was stupid. We all know the oscars are determined by politics, this is nothing new. But that doesn’t mean one has to actively encourage the politics to continue. She clearly wants McQueen/Slave to win just because it would “make history” And i’m sorry, the comment about Cuaron not deserving it as much because he didn’t make a movie about his ethnicity is just ridiculous – there’s no way around it. It kind of reminds me of last year when I actually saw several stupid comments calling Benh Zeitlin racist for directing a film with a black lead character, and telling a story that he couldn’t possibly know anything about.

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    endaugust
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    #138383

    That is because you interpreted her statement (re Cuaron’s film not being about the Mexican experience) in a superficial, shallow way.

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    Gabriel
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    #138384

    She clearly suggested that Cuaron doesn’t deserve to win as much as McQueen does because McQueen is a black man who directed a film about black slaves, and Cuaron is a Mexican man who directed a film about ….a woman lost in space and therefore no where near as “important.”

    If there is some deeper meaning to her stupid comment, then please, enlighten me.

    ReplyCopy URL
    endaugust
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    #138385

    I don’t think she would use the word “deserve”, since the notion of “the best” is out of the equation.

    And if you need to be enlightened about the social injustice that Blacks have to endure in this country and how an Oscar (always laced with politics) could advance and reflect the change that this country is and potentially will be going through, then…

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